Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has granted a posthumous honor to arch-terrorist Abu Jihad, who was responsible for the murder of at least 125 Israelis in numerous terror attacks that he planned, including a bus hijacking in 1978, in which 37 civilians were murdered.
Official PA TV News reported that Abbas, in order "to honor the founding leaders and the first generation of the Palestinian revolution and the PLO, and out of loyalty to their history of struggle," chose to decorate Abu Jihad with "the highest order of the Star of Honor."
At the ceremony, Abbas handed the award to Abu Jihad's widow. Secretary-General of the Presidential Office, Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, read aloud the "decree" signed by Abbas, calling terrorist Abu Jihad "the model of a true fighter and devoted leader," and praising him for "his honorable national role":
"Abu Jihad shall be granted the highest order of the Star of Honor in recognition of his honorable national role and his history of struggle as one of the founding leaders of the Palestinian revolution, and out of great appreciation for his high position and significance in the defense of Palestine as a country, a nation, and a cause. He was the model of a true fighter and devoted leader [and] through his commitment and contribution he left his mark on the history of the Palestinian revolution and the PLO."
Palestinian Media Watch reported in July 2013 that Abbas decorated another terrorist leader with the Star of Honor. The recipient was Nayef Hawatmeh, the leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). The DFLP carried out many deadly terror attacks in the 1970s and has also participated in and claimed responsibility for dozens of other terror attacks, including a suicide bombing near Tel Aviv that killed 4 people in 2003.
Former PA PM Salam Fayyad was also among this year's recipients of the Star of Honor.
The glorification of arch-terrorist Abu Jihad is a long-standing PA and Fatah policy. Every year in April, the anniversary of Abu Jihad's death is marked with numerous events and ceremonies held in his honor.
This year, PMW reported that the official PA news agency WAFA lauded Abu Jihad as a killer of 125, listing all the terror attacks he planned and directed, specifying the number of murdered:
"Abu Jihad was killed by the Israeli Mossad in Tunisia on April 16, 1988... and was crowned the Prince of the Martyrs of Palestine... Among the military operations planned by Abu Jihad: the explosion at the Zohar reservoir in 1955; the operation to blow up the Israeli National Water Carrier in 1965; the operation at the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv, which killed 10 Israelis, in 1975; the blowing up of a truck bomb in Jerusalem in 1975; the killing of Albert Levi, the senior sapper, and his assistant, in Nablus in 1976; the Dalal Mughrabi operation (i.e., bus hijacking), in which more than 37 Israelis were killed, in 1978; the shelling of the Eilat Port in 1979; the Katyusha fire on the northern settlements [in Israel] in 1981..."
[WAFA and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 16, 2013]
At a Fatah event in January this year, Abbas praised Abu Jihad and other terrorists who killed hundreds as "the blessed Martyrs" and "the leaders of all the fighting forces":
"We renew the promise to our blessed Martyrs, that we will follow the path of the Martyr Brother Yasser Arafat and his comrades among the leaders of all the fighting forces, all the Martyrs. Among them, I mention Martyr Abu Jihad..."
Private organizations also follow the lead of the PA and glorify terrorist Abu Jihad, such as sports organizations that name their activities and tournaments after him. This year the Palestinian Association for Martial Arts held "its first Prince of Martyrs [Abu Jihad] festival" and the Palestinian Boxing Association held "The Martyr Abu Jihad Tournament."
The following is the report on official PA TV News on Abbas' decoration of terrorist Abu Jihad with the Star of Honor:
Abu Jihad (Halil Al-Wazir) was a founder of Fatah and deputy to Yasser Arafat. He headed the PLO terror organization's military wing and planned many deadly Fatah terror attacks killing 125 Israelis. This included the most lethal in Israeli history, the hijacking of a bus and killing of 37 civilians, 12 of them children.
He was killed in a daring raid by Sayeret Matkal on his beachfront villa in Tunisia in 1988.